I’m writing this belated post to share a little bit about a bad funk I had in March, and how I successfully pulled myself out of it by sketching. Yup, you read that right.
March was an extremely stressful month for me. To the point that I got sick twice (the second time I was even hospitalized because of food poisoning) I was overwhelmed and stressed out. A lot was going on in my personal life, and on top of it I was drowning in red tape, paperwork, tax forms and all sorts of draining stuff like that. Tedious tasks were piling up. I was in an awful funk! Lots of bad days clouded my usual unicorns and rainbows vibe and I didn’t even felt like sketching. Perfectionism was getting the best of me.
Deciding to get better
One day towards the end of the month, I decided that I was done with feeling down every day and I resolved that I would have a happy April. I wrote down five or six simple goals that I would have to achieve by the end of said month. I also changed my phone screen photo to my “Printemps a Paris” illustration, to remind me of my Happy April vision. That screen saver helped keep my goals in sight.
To tackle the boring stuff that was drowning me, I decided that I would commit to getting one boring admin task done each day. I felt like that way I was able to achieve things without feeling as overwhelmed.
I was still experiencing some sort of creative funk, on top of my overall funk, so I decided to commit to a really, simple sketching exercise to pull myself out of it. This also worked as a mood booster for me.
Now to the sketching part
What you’ll need
- Gather some inspiration. I had a ton of magazine pages lying around that I’d been collecting. I had also posted a lot of sketching inspo in my “Muses” board in Pinterest, and I also had saved posts on my instagram. Spoiler alert, the exercise is about sketching faces, so that’s the kind of inspo you want to get.
- Get yourself a sketchbook or some loose pages. Even copy paper will do the trick if you just wanna use graphite to sketch these. In my case I dedicated a couple pages of my sketchbook to these sketches.
- grab a pencil (any pencil will do. I usually use HB lead pencils), an eraser and a pencil sharpener if the pencil is not mechanical.
(if you are curious about the sketchbook and pencils I use on an everyday basis, you can read this blog post afterwards)
Get to work!
Put on your favorite music and dedicate some minutes out of your day to sketch a face. In my case, I don’t particularly copy exactly what I see, I just get inspired by it and create something with that picture as a starting point.
Keep it simple. Just a face. Don’t color it. In my opinion, this helps to not get paralyzed by perfectionism.
Repeat every day until your mood improves 🙂 In my case after these seven sketches that you see here, I felt considerably better and stopped. As I write this post, I am feeling the urge to get back on it! If you feel like sketching more than one face per day, by all means, go with it!
This exercise will help you if you are an illustrator, an aspiring one, or just someone who wants to sketch for fun and possibly get better at it. Remember that in all cases, practice makes perfect!
As you can see in this last pic, my bad mood/funk ended with March, and I got to enjoy DC and the cherry blossoms in full bloom in April 🙂
Hope this helps you too. Let me know in the comments if you will try this exercise! Feel free to email me pictures of the faces you sketched to firstname.lastname@example.org